Church members spend holiday volunteering

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – While many people spent President’s Day taking advantage of sales, a handful of volunteers decided they would rather spend the day helping others.

“We could be at home watching television, or we could be helping these people feel better,” said Janie Mabry. “As long as they’re feeling better, it makes us feel better. We get as much blessing out of it as they do.”

The volunteers come from multiple churches in the area. They all come together with the common goal to spread the gospel through community engagement.

“We just feel that we are doing something to help them, so it makes us feel like we’re doing the things that God would have us to do.”

Each day the kitchen is open, a variety of people come in for a hot meal. Many are regulars that volunteers interact with every few days.

“A lot of them are from the homeless [shelter],” said Doris Fuller. “They have nothing else. This is their meal, and sometimes it’s the only meal they get for the day.”

Despite being down on their luck, volunteers say most diners come in with a positive attitude and a warm smile.

“Most of them are very, very nice,” said Mabry. “They thank us, they say ‘God bless you.’ They’re very grateful.”

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Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at